working class historical

A+
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Despite being a family of non-believers, every year we pull out our holiday paraphernalia. We dress the tree, hanging with care the delicate glass ornaments gifted to us over the many years, sentimentally rub our fingers over the ones our children made, pull out the stepladder and put our angel to b ...

B+
This Wicked Gift

This Wicked Gift is, I believe, Courtney Milan's first published work, and is an introductory novella to her Carhart books. In it, Miss Lavinia Spencer is caring for her sick father and her younger brother as well as running their family business, a circulating library. Money is incredibly tight, bu ...

B+
Regency Royal Navy Christmas

This is a curious anthology because while two of the stories are Kelly’s usual fare, one is happy-ending fiction rather than a romance, and the other is a reprint of the novella which introduced Able Six, an eidetic genius very unlike Kelly’s general ordinary-folk protagonists. Boxing the ...

A-
Miss Dominguez's Christmas Kiss and Other Stories

In the Carla Kelly tradition of holiday shorts that make you smile, these three sweet short stories (set in the Edwardian Caribbean across Christmas, New Year, and Reyes Magos) are a lovely addition to any holiday romance fan’s library. These are gentle, realistic stories about the holidays of ord ...

A-
An Infamous Marriage

Susanna Fraser's An Infamous Marriage has a not-unusual marriage of convenience premise, but what I really liked about this book was that at least a third of it is taken up with showing us what life is like for the protagonists after they have made a go of their marriage and admitted their love for ...

A
The Corpse Played Dead

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Lizzie Hardwicke series and it does not disappoint! Ms. Clarke has another winner on her hands. The Corpse Played Dead is just as intriguing and brilliantly written as the first book in the series, Death and the Harlot. The Corpse Played ...

A-
Ever Faithful

Ever Faithful is a terribly cute retro-romance that proves ‘traditional’ doesn’t have to equal ‘boring’; in fact its slow-burning romances and sweet courtships provide beautiful entertainment for the reader. It’s 1933 and Elsie Brookes is working as a maid at the Mammoth Hot Springs L ...

A
Death and the Harlot

Yay! A new historical mystery author with a great start to a series! Death and the Harlot, by Georgina Clarke, is book one in the new Lizzie Hardwicke series and it’s a riveting beginning. Lizzie Hardwicke is one of the luckier harlots in Georgian London; she has a roof over her head, regular m ...

B+
Patience for Christmas

I love novellas at Christmas - the length is just right for one evening, when you steal a couple hours away from holiday madness to breathe and remember what you’re in the season for. I try new ones every year, but only the chosen few make it to my annual re-read list. Patience for Christmas has t ...

A
Once Upon a River

Diane Setterfield follows up The Thirteenth Tale with Once Upon a River, a story of mysticism and religion colliding during the time when Darwinian theory was first taking hold. On the bank of the Thames at Redcot, there once sat a magical inn called the Swan at Radcot, which becomes known for be ...